Good news on the vaccine front! Biotechnology company Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) has been working on a vaccine to prevent coronavirus infections.
Yesterday, the results of an early Phase 1 study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The data showed the vaccine triggered an immune response with only mild side effects. The side effects included fatigue, chills, headache, muscle pain and pain at the injection. All of those are associated with other vaccines as well.
Moderna isn’t the first vaccine maker to publish promising Phase 1 data. Yet it is the first to publish its data in a major peer-reviewed medical journal. Peer-reviewed data is typically more reliable then data simply published by independent researchers.
Based on the success of this study, Moderna is beginning a large Phase 3 trial later this month. That’s the final step before submitting a new drug or vaccine for regulatory approval.
The Phase 1 study involved 45 healthy adults, who received to vaccinations 28 days apart at different doses. Moderna wants to enroll 30,000 volunteers for its Phase 3 trial.
The company has said that if all goes well and according to schedule, it could begin mass production next year. It believes it could produce between 500 million and 1 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021.
The Big News . . .
New York Travel Restrictions Start Today
New York starts requiring travelers from 19 high-risk states to fill out health forms when they enter New York . . . or face stiff penalties. Travelers are required to provide contact information and planned itineraries upon landing at any airport in the state. If you enter the state by car, bus or train, you are also required to fill out the form online.
Walmart Latest Retailer to Require Masks
Walmart (NYSE: WMT) says masks are now required at all of its more than 5,000 U.S. stores. It is the latest retailer to require masks. The list already includes Apple, Best Buy, Costco, Dollar Tree, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s and Verizon.
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Oklahoma Governor Tests Positive
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has become the first known U.S. governor to contract COVID-19. His illness is notable because he has resisted issuing a mask order in the state. He also has posted photographs of himself ignoring social distancing guidelines.
The Coronavirus Numbers
Here the numbers from Thursday at 8:33 a.m. EST:
- 13,731,477 Infected worldwide
- 587,781 Global deaths
- 3,618,739 Infected in the U.S.
- 140,185 Deaths in the U.S.
The news from Moderna is promising. However, there is a long road ahead for developing a viable Covid-19 vaccine.
Moderna’s vaccine did trigger an immune response. The company admits that doesn’t mean the vaccine will actually protect against COVID-19. And that is why Moderna is running the Phase 3 trial.
It is a promising first step, though.
An effective vaccine is what we need to finally put this pandemic behind us.
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